This is part two of a blog on how workers’ compensation costs may be reduced in the workplace. These are actions that are primarily employer-driven but conscientious employees may also play an important role in this undertaking to reduce such costs. One way is to reduce fraudulent practices that have the effect of increasing employer expenses and reducing the revenue and resources available to ensure a safe working environment.
All individuals in a workplace should report any and all instances of suspected workers’ compensation fraud. Fraud contributes to the cost of doing business and is a serious matter. A worker or other individual who commits fraud may be subject to civil or criminal penalties under Pennsylvania law.
An employer engages in fraudulent activity typically in an effort to reduce insurance workers’ compensation premiums. It may understate the amount of its payroll or misclassify employee job codes. Medical providers and other related parties may also engage in fraud by billing for services that were not actually provided to an injured worker.
An employee commits fraud by knowingly and intentionally collecting total disability benefits or partial disability benefits in excess of the legally permissible amount while employed or receiving wages. Employees already receiving workers’ compensation benefits also commit fraud by knowingly and intentionally failing to report wages, social security, unemployment compensation, severance or pension plan benefits.
Individuals that suspect someone is collecting workers’ compensation benefits by engaging in fraudulent activity may report it in writing to the Compliance Section of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
Reducing workers’ compensation costs is beneficial to both employers and employees as it theoretically increases the money available to improve workplace safety.
The attorneys and staff of Powell Law carry on the work of a law firm that spans generations and has represented tens of thousands of Pennsylvania workers over a period of 113 years. Any worker who has any questions about workers’ compensation benefits should contact a workers’ compensation attorney at Powell Law at (570) 961-0777 or visit us online. The consultation is free and you don’t pay any fees unless we win your case!